Board OKs changes to levies, grades

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday night, the Tipp City school board approved a resolution of necessity for upcoming levies and authorized changes to the high school’s grade policy.

The board voted to combine two existing emergency levies that expire at the end of 2017 into one seven-year levy to be placed on an upcoming ballot.

District Treasurer Dave Stevens noted that because this would combine and renew previous levies, there will be no new taxes and the rollback exemption for taxpayers will be retained.

“There is no increase in payments at all,” Stevens added.

Stevens recommended a seven year levy because it would reduce the frequency of asking voters to approve funding and it would also cover two contracts with the teacher’s union. The existing emergency levies are a four year levy and a five year levy. Another emergency levy expires in 2020.

“By combining two into one, it’s the exact same amount of money that we’re raising from the two separate levies, but now it’ll all be under one levy, which means only one expiration date,” board president Carla Frame. “Additionally there’s no increase in taxes … and because it is the renewal of an existing levy, we will be able to maintain the homestead exemption for our senior citizens.”

The board will discuss ballot language at a future meeting, Stevens said.

The board also approved amendments to the high school grade policy, which change the way honors and advanced placement grades are weighted.

Previously weighted an additional quarter of a point, grades for AP courses will now be weighted by an additional point, Tippecanoe High School Principal Steve Verhoff explained.

“We felt that a 1.0 add on for AP courses would be more appropriate and more in line with other schools in the county and in the Miami Valley area,” he explained.

Students will also earn an addition half a point for accelerated, honors, and pre-AP classes.

According to Verhoff, these changes came about after discussions with parents and teachers. He added that this change will help students when it comes to applying for college and scholarships.

“When you look at the boards that approve or award those dollar amounts, they’re looking at students from Troy that are on a five point scale and then they’re looking at our students that aren’t on a five point scale and they may not understand the difference between the two. They just see a 4.0 versus a 4.5 and that could put our students at a disadvantage,” Verhoff said.

By Cecilia Fox

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